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EFP 90: On Time-Wasting Customers

Justin Cooke April 17, 2014

EFP 90 On Time-Wasting Customers1

In our brokering business (and outsourcing business), there have been plenty of tire-kickers who don’t have the intention to spend money for a quality product or service but would still love to poke and see how much they can get out of you. These are the time-sucking, soul-crushing customers that no one likes to deal with.

6 Common Signs of a Time Waster

Today, Joe and I share six common signs that someone is a time-waster and not a real (potential) customer. When you run into one of these guys you’re going to want to notice the signs and not spend too much of your precious time with them. I think this episode is especially important for new entrepreneurs, but the seasoned veterans will find themselves nodding their heads, I’m sure!

If you want to save yourself plenty of time (and money) you’ll want to learn how to spot the signs.

Check Out This Week’s Episode Here:

 Direct Download – Right Click, Save As

Topics Discussed This Week Include:

  • Customers with ZERO verifiable identity or credentials.
  • The promise of “future” business and the time you waste with these customers.
  • People trying to scare you into a deal with ramblings about attorneys.
  • The keyboard warrior that tries to sell you on how awesome they are.
  • Customers who expect something for nothing.



  • “Don’t take customers where you can’t verify their information. It’s a very high likelihood they’re wasting your time.” – Justin Cooke – Tweet This!

Have you dealt with bad tirekickers in the past? What are some of the worst signs to look out for? Share them with us on SpeakPipe or comment below!


Download your free report

Speaker 1:           Welcome to the Empire Flippers Podcast. Are you sick and tired of gurus who have plenty of ideas, but ar short on substance? Worried that ebook you bought for $17.95 won’t bring you the personal and financial freedom you long for? Hey, you’re not alone. Join thousands of others in their pursuit of niche profits without the bullshit. Straight from your host, Justin and Joe from Empire Flippers.

Justin Cooke:                     Welcome to episode 90 of the Empire Flippers Podcast. I’m your host, Justin Cooke, and I’m here with my business partner extraordinaire Joe “Hot Money” Magnetti, what is going on buddy?

Joe Magnetti:                    Hello everybody.

Justin Cooke:                     We’ve got a great episode lined up. We are going to be going on a rant today. We are talking about time wasters. We like to refer to them as strokers. These potential customers or wanna be customers that waste your god damn time. That’s what we’re going to be talking about today. We’re gonna be talking about the signs that you can point out, or that point to them being time wasters. Point to them being people that you’re not gonna wanna deal with. This is something we struggle with early in our entrepreneurial career is wanting to please everyone. Wanting to do business with everyone, thinking everyone’s potentially a customer. We shouldn’t turn anyone away. We’re gonna show you why that is bullshit today. We’ll be getting into it.

                                                Before we do that, let’s do some updates, news, and info. First thing, we’ve got our marketplace manager or apprentice position. We have this open til April 15th, we’ve actually extended the deadline, so it’ll be open until April 30th. Until the end of the month. Basically we’re looking for someone who’s willing to come out here to the Philippines with us. Work inside of our business on helping us build out the marketplace. You’re gonna be doing some hand holding, some white glove treatment with website buyers and sellers. You’re gonna be deeply involved in the major piece, our core business in the next couple of years.

Joe Magnetti:                    I just got a call today at 6:00 AM with a major buyer and the seller trying to match them up. Trying to do some selling there. That’s the kind of thing that I see this guy doing in the future is being there on these calls. Facilitating the back and forth. Making things a little more seamless. Making sure that everything gets done.

Justin Cooke:                     If you’re at all interested, check out the show, this episode. We’re gonna have a link to the position. It does require an application, a quick YouTube video. We wanna kind of see who we’re dealing with. We’ll be taking applications until April 30th. We’d love to work with you.

                                                Next point, this is really interesting. The Warrior Forum, was just bought by for 3.2 million dollars, buddy.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, you know you were mentioning it before the show that seems undervalued. Now I’m thinking about I just screwed even now I think of it. You might be right, but still, if there is just one owner, that’s not a bad return.

Justin Cooke:                     Alan Says … I don’t think that’s his real name, but his name on the form is Alan Says. Let me just give you a couple stats real quick. 732,000 professionals, marketing professional, they call them professionals. I don’t know about that. 7.2 million posts since 1997. They’ve got an Alexa rank of 227. That’s pretty amazing, buddy. My point was that if that’s like the biggest it’s gonna get. If you’re in that forum game, and this is a very large forum. A major forum, and only went for that amount of money, I just think that they must of not monetize the Warrior Forum nearly as well as they potentially could. There might be something wrong there.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, I definitely think that that’s [inaudible 00:03:19] for such little value when you think about it. I guess that’s 50 cents a post. You could put it that way, right? I don’t know how you monetize, or how you evaluate forums besides looking at exactly how much money they make. I imagine that Warrior Forum had a lot of trouble getting people to pay for stuff, because the place that people go to to not pay for stuff.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, that’s understanding. You know there’s a lot of backlash about it too. I saw a bunch of people saying, great. The worst job marketplace in the world buys the worst forum in the world. They better not have a baby. We’ll see, man. It was interesting that Jay had some of the backgrounds. I’m real interested to see kind of what they do with the work from what it turns into after this. It will be interesting to see what they do with their recent acquisition.

Joe Magnetti:                    I imagine what they’re gonna do is they’re gonna offer an O Desk type service, you know but better to people of the Warrior Forum, and have some sort of special.

Justin Cooke:                     Something, that’s what I want to point out I thought was really interesting is Glen’s post over at How to build a billion dollar SEO empire. This is a very well researched post. He did a great deep dive. He had this really interesting analysis. He kind of calls out the big players. I mean he’s always calling on Google, but he’s calling out some of the big players and multiple industries. Pointing out how they’re crushing the little guy. I’m not sure what’s new about that? Because that’s been happening for hundreds of years, thousands of years where the big players crush the small players. I don’t see why that would be any different on Google. But he does put together a quick, brief game plan at the end of kind of how to go about building out a one billion dollar business.

                                                What I thought was interesting, he went back and looked at like a forum post from one of the original founders, seven years ago or something. Looked at how some of their competition hate them. They were doing things that really just pissed off some of the competition by stealing coupon codes. Reminds me a lot of these other big businesses. Air B and B, raping Right? Like posting a ton of posts to try and get that traffic to themselves. It’s interesting.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah. I’m not familiar with the post, but I’m looking forward to checking it out.

Justin Cooke:                     Another thing, buddy, you are heading on a trip. You’re going to Bukola this weekend.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, just a little quick holiday. You know it’s Holy Week here, so everything closes down. I’m sure things will be closed down in Bukola as well, but at least I have some friends up there that are visiting from the UK. Hang out, do the kind of the resort thing, and sit by the pool.

Justin Cooke:                     Here’s a quick aside for anyone who’s not familiar with Southeast Asia. Thailand has Songkran, and what Songkran is is this huge week long kind of water fight. Like country wide water fight, where they’re bringing out buckets of water and squirt guns. It’s the hottest week of the year. So everyone gets out, and they kind of play. They have designated areas, and it’s all over the different cities.

                                                In the Philippines on the other hand, they have Holy Week. What they do is there are places where people actually nail themselves to crosses. Have you seen this, Joe?

Joe Magnetti:                    I have.

Justin Cooke:                     They’re whipping each other and walking down the street in pennants. Then they get nailed to a fricking cross, dude.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, it’s a bit crazy here.

Justin Cooke:                     Water festival or a crucifixion. Those are your options.

Joe Magnetti:                    The funny thing about [inaudible 00:06:30] is, especially Good Friday, which is this Friday. I mean, it’s a ghost town. Nothing is open, not even the mall is open. We were telling apprentice, stock up on water and food. Because you don’t be able to do anything. Nevermind a taxi.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, interesting stuff, man. The other thing I wanna talk about is we addressed this recently in our monthly report from March. We have some problems with our outsourcing company sales. Some things have been becoming issues. One of our customers was talking about snaking another customer when he found out we’re selling. That customer wasn’t so happy with him, and so now question to value with us. Things are really up in the air. We’re not sure how it’s all gonna play out. At least, at this point, it’s not stable enough to sell it. I just don’t think it’s a good move.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, and then I think it’s unfortunate, but you know we always said from the beginning, Justin is that whoever we had buy this we would make sure it was a good deal for them as well as us. At this point, I can truthfully say to myself it’s a good deal for them.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, I always figured it would be a bit of an earn out based on the successful sticking of the customers. Anyway, because there weren’t any long term agreements or anything. We kind of planned on that on the back end. Even then, I’m not sure. I mean, there’s definitely value in just selling even the corporation and set up and everything like that. It’s minimal. The value’s dropped significantly. Yeah, I don’t know if it’s worth it. We’re probably just gonna weather the storm and kind of see what happens on the flip side, three to six months out, and see where we’re at at that point. Anyway, that is off. We talk a bit more about that in the monthly report, which we’ll link to up in the show as well.

                                                All right, man. Enough about that. Let’s get at the heart of this week’s episode.

Speaker 1:                           This is the Empire Flippers Podcast.

Justin Cooke:                     All right, Joe, it’s time to ramp, buddy. We’re gonna be talking about some time wasting customers. I think what’s really interesting about this is, you know obviously we’re gonna rant a bit and talk about some of the issues and whatever. I think it’s really important, especially for new entrepreneurs, because part of what you’re doing is determining which customers you should work with. You’re determining process for onboarding, and all of that. I think that this is a critical piece.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, especially if you’re in a really small shop. Right in the beginning, when you have-

Justin Cooke:                     -As a solo preneur, or maybe you got a couple of people working on your team. Trying to determine which deals to take on.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, two or three people. I could definitely see this being a big decision process. Because especially if it’s your first time around the block, you might fall for a couple of these common issues with [inaudible 00:08:56].

Justin Cooke:                     We struggle with this. A lot of our lessons were learned when we started our outsourcing company. When we were taking on any customer that was express some interest. We ended up, you know running all over the place trying to do this, that, and the other to onboard these deals. We kind of learned over time, the process for determining the good potential customers from the bad.

Joe Magnetti:                    As much good as we’d done in learning best kind of customers to bring on board, some of this episode stems from a recent incident we had with a buyer who did put down a deposit, but led us through an email thread of more than 55 messages back and forth questions about silly little details that did not matter. Drilling down … and we broke a couple of our own rules. You know if we had just stuck to them, it would of saved us a lot of time and effort.

Justin Cooke:                     Do as we say, not as we did. This is something that we fall into, and we go back to and make mistakes. This is consistent learning process, I think. We’re gonna basically cover six different warning signs of the potential customers bullshit. If they’re showing one of these signs, there’s a pretty good chance they’re gonna be a time waster. There might be a few exceptions or exceptional cases where it’s not the case. If they have two or more of these, we are absolutely convinced they’re gonna be a time waster, and not worth you wasting any of your time one.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah. I would like to see an example where two of these are true, and it worked out to be a huge deal.

Justin Cooke:                     Absolutely. All right, man. Let’s do it. Number one, can’t verify their identity or credentials. This is someone who is reaching out to you. They have a plain Gmail account, yahoo account, something like that. They’ve got no social profile. There’s no record of some of the boasted accomplishments, or business relationships, or employments they’ve had with some of the companies they’ve claimed. You just can’t verify these people.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, I love these guys. You know, Joe Johnson, of the Joe Johnson Incorporated Company. We do million dollar businesses, million dollar transactions, and we’re looking to do business with you. Can you tell me-

Justin Cooke:                     -Can you answer my 30 point question. Right? Yeah. I remember a guy there in particular. Robert something. I’m not gonna say his full name, but Robert. Right? With our outsourcing company where he wanted to partner with us on this deal. We were like, we’re not really putting any effort in, we’re not spending any money on this guy. Let’s go down the rabbit hole, and it was a nasty, deep, dark rabbit hole with this guy. It just never worked out. We could never verify who it was. There was nothing about him online. We even asked him, and he said, respect my privacy. Man, dude, it was a mess.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, and then one of the things I do with sellers is I try to vet them in terms of looking at their social profile, getting them on the phone, looking at their physical address, stuff like this. I do that a bit with the buyers too. Especially when they start deep diving on us, or asking a lot of questions of the seller. And I can tell you, it’s a very good sign if there’s just nothing about them online, these are just not the kind of people that spend money. If you have something about you online, some sort of ability to verify your accomplishments and who you are. Then it’s a lot more trustworthy of a factor that you’re going to be able to have that money to spend.

Justin Cooke:                     You as a listener, you can do this relatively easy by just not doing business, not taking on customers where you can’t verify their information. If you look up their name, you can’t verify they work for the company they said they worked with previously. There’s just nothing about them. It’s just a very high likelihood that they’re wasting your time, and it’s not worth going after.

                                                Okay, number two, man. The promise of future business. I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today. Right? If you only do this little deal now, I’m gonna send you … I’m gonna inundate you with business. You’re gonna have so much business, it’s gonna be coming out of your ears. Right?

Joe Magnetti:                    This is one that we fell for a lot when we had the outsourcing company, and it’s still one, probably the number one thing that I see small, new entrepreneurs fall for online. They find a guy that emails them that says, “Look, I just need a break on this one deal. I just need you to do this one little project.” Then I have a huge thing behind it. You don’t do any verification of that, because you skipped step number one, which was verify their identity. You just still have your mind focused on that potential huge deal that’s probably not there.

Justin Cooke:                     The real problem here, I think is that if you do land their small deal. Let’s say you cut them a break, and you wanna do business. Let’s say you give them a price break. Not only are they gonna expect that price break on that deal. They’re gonna want you to work as they just gave you a massive deal. They’re gonna hang that carrot over your head. They’re gonna dangle it over your head. It’s not gonna be a fantastic customer.

                                                A lot of times, we’ve been in situations where we’re taken on these types of customers, where we don’t make any net profit on that deal. We’ve taken it on, lost money, and they walk big deal and that materializes, because it probably wasn’t there to begin with.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, and they become this time and resource suck. Right? Because they’re always holding that big deal over your head. Well, the big deal’s coming. The big deal’s coming, but you gotta get this one done. You gotta get this one done. And that project seems to keep expanding in scope.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah.

Joe Magnetti:                    You know it’s just really using up your resources and your time and energy. You’re not making any money on it. You know what? This is a really good sign of a time waster sort of customer.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, man. It’s gonna be resource intensive. Especially on that small deal, that you probably wouldn’t have taken on its own. I think that’s the critical piece too. Is that they want you to do a deal that’s outside of your scope. They want you to take on a smaller project, maybe smaller than you normally accept for the promise or the hope of this larger deal. And that’s a really bad sign.

                                                Number three, they won’t hop on a call. They won’t hop on Skype. They are just … They won’t take it to the next level.

Joe Magnetti:                    I love this one. This one is my favorite one.

Justin Cooke:                     You love people that don’t get on Skype?

Joe Magnetti:                    No. I love this … I love this one as a perfect example, because it’s so easy. When somebody sends you a 23 point question email, just send back, look, I’d love to answer all these questions. Why don’t we just hop on a call. It’s a lot easier. If they say, “No.” And you say, “Well, why not? You know can we schedule it out on Friday, or next week, or whenever.” They are emphatic about not getting on a call with you, there is a big issue there.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, our recent problem was a similar situation. Said, “Look, you know why don’t we get on a call. We’ll talk through this.” The argument was, the reason I can’t get on a call is because my legal team, “team”, by the way which we’re gonna get to in a second. Legal team wants me to have everything documented. We said, “Look, we can just agree that anything that’s said has to be in writing. We can record the call. Like can’t we just get on a phone call and talk?” Yeah, he wasn’t. No.

Joe Magnetti:                    I think you know in this day and age of people emailing and Skype. Emailing and texting and all that kind of thing. I think especially the younger crowd is not as comfortable with being on the phone. As a business owner, you should be willing to do that. For people that are gonna spend more than ten thousand dollars, they wanna get on the call.

Justin Cooke:                     I think we’re not just talking about us, we’re also talking about the listeners business. Here’s the thing, if you’re trying to do business, and it is for any kind of significant amount of money. 400 bucks, 500 bucks, and they’re not willing to get on the phone with you. Now, look there is an exception. We’re had people that were a little shy about their English, like they were a little uncomfortable. Especially we deal with international customers, or days where they’re just not in the mood. I call it having a cave day. Right? I’m having a cave day, man. I don’t wanna be a video. I’m chilling in my house in my underwear. Whatever, I’m hanging out.

Joe Magnetti:                    That’s a bad picture in my mind.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, I just don’t wanna be that connected. That’s a one time kind of occurrence. The shy thing, you get that you can kind of open that up. By saying, “Look, I’m not gonna hold your English against you.”

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, I remember that customer. He was from Israel, and his English wasn’t that great. But you know what? It was a lot better than what he thought it was. A lot better than my Hebrew is, that’s for sure. It was fine. Once I did get him on the phone, he felt more comfortable spending 20 thousand dollars with us, and wired us the money the next day. It got the deal done a lot faster. It showed me that he really was being honest about who he was and what he could.

Justin Cooke:                     All right. I like the if they’re not gonna hop on a call, they’re not gonna Skype with you, then there’s something wrong there. You pair that with any of these others, and it’s absolutely a time waster, man. We’ve gone down these rabbit holes where like that didn’t happen. We said, “Maybe Joe, maybe this time it’ll be different.” But, nope.

                                                Point number four. This would involve any discussions around their legal team, or attorneys, or anything like that before a purchase. If your buyer, your potential customer is talking about they need to get their legal team involved. They have to have, run it by their attorney. They need to check this, that, and the other. It’s just, it’s problematic.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, you know the first time we ran into this was with the outsourcing company, and we’d see guys come to us and say, “I have this really esoteric process, but I need you to sign this NDA for-” It’s almost like a 12 page NDA, and then you would go through all this paperwork with him.

Justin Cooke:                     You’re wasting my time. You’re just wasting my time. It’s like you’re fronting.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah. Just to find out at the end of the day that he really doesn’t have anything. He doesn’t have the money to pay for it. He has all this great paperwork that he got somewhere online or had his attorney friend put together for him, but he doesn’t really have a real business. I can tell you, people that do real business, unless it’s for these gazillion dollar deals. Then, yeah, maybe they wanna get paperwork involved. In the beginning, they just wanna get the work done.

Justin Cooke:                     Yes, yes. That’s the critical piece for them. It does feel a little bit like when they start talking about attorneys or their legal team, whatever. They’re trying to scare you into a deal or a better deal or something. And it just really doesn’t start the relationship off in like kind of a good start. It doesn’t put it on a good footing from the get go.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, I think what he was saying before, Justin, it’s fronting. It’s the same kind of thing where they try to say, “Oh, hey, just do this small deal for me, and there’s a big deal down the line. Well, I have all this super secret paperwork for you to do first before you get to know about my company.” It tries to fool you into thinking that they are bigger than really than they say they are.

Justin Cooke:                     I think you said you right, man. Real businesses don’t front. Real businesses get the work done. Right? That’s what they care about. They care about getting the work done.

                                                All right, man so the fifth point, I like this one is that your potential customer is trying to sell you on how bad ass they are. They’re explaining to you their experience. We’ve gotta combined 40 years in this industry. They’ve got the most amazing team. I’ve got the best developers, the best program. I got these designers that are amazing. We’ve got all this money. I’ve done multi million dollar deals.

Joe Magnetti:                    I mean, one of the biggest deals that we did on the outsourcing company, the biggest deal that we did. The guy didn’t tell us very much. He called us up on the phone, we did some walk throughs. He showed up the next week in the Philippines, I showed him some office space, we went and secured it. That was it.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah.

Joe Magnetti:                    You know, he didn’t front about his business or anything. In fact, I had to look him up and find out the information about him.

Justin Cooke:                     But I think this is particularly a vulnerable position for new entrepreneurs, because they are still kind of green. Maybe they’re not as confident with their business, and their … You know it was for us, and I’m sure it is for some of our listeners. It’s an easier one to get sucked into, because you’re like, I’m dealing with a big fish here. Right? I got a whale on my line. I gotta reel this guy in. When they’re trying to sell you on how amazing they are. There’s something wrong, and you should really be wary. Especially if this is paired with any of the other points.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, and like we’re saying before, look, a whale won’t tell you he’s a whale. You’ll just find it out. They won’t front, because he doesn’t want you to know he’s a whale, because he doesn’t want you to over charge him.

Justin Cooke:                     Sure.

Joe Magnetti:                    He just wants to get the business done.

Justin Cooke:                     Yep. The other thing too is that sometimes these guys are gonna overplay their hand. Right? They’re gonna say, “I’ve got all this experience. I’ve got this amazing team. You know you need to offer me this, this, and this. Here’s the thing, if they’ve got all this experience and all this money and this team. How are they selling you on how amazing they are? Like why are they coming to you and asking you to do business?

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, my favorite one of this, Justin is one that we still get til today, is that middle man that wants something for free, because he has all these business connections on the backend. Right?

Justin Cooke:                     Which goes back to point number two, the promise of future business.

Joe Magnetti:                    Right, so you gotta be very careful with these guys. They are the ones that prey on new entrepreneurs, really small businesses, and try to get services cheap by boasting about their promises of future gains, or showing that they are bigger than they really are.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah. They’re trying to seem like a real bad ass. Either, you know they’re trying to compensate themselves, or they’re just trying to convince you or frighten you into going above and beyond to do business with them.

                                                The sixth point, and you’ll see this a lot is when your potential buyer, potential customer is expecting something for nothing. This may materialize in the case of they wanna do some testing for free, and they want a sample from you. They wanna do a little bit of this, a little bit of that. They’re looking for free work, free products, that kind of thing.

Joe Magnetti:                    In the outsourcing business, you see this a lot. Voice campaigns that are supposedly based on performance, but really guys-

Justin Cooke:                     -Post pay performance.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yes, post pay performance. Really what they’re gonna do is they go to 10 different call centers, run the same campaign through, and they drop the low rate. They never even pay them. The top two, maybe they continue with.

Justin Cooke:                     For you, as a consultant, let’s say you have a consultant business. They’re sending you emails, and then you say, “Hey, let’s hop on a call.” Let me send you a couple more points, and then we’ll get on a call and I’ll ask you more questions. But they just keep trying to get information from you for free. They are costing you time while not paying you any money. A real entrepreneur generally, and this is absolutely true for us, is that when someone’s looking to buy websites, for example. They’ll reach out, they’ll say, “Look, got the cash. I can close deals quickly. I have a couple of questions I need answered really quick, so we can move this forward.” Like it’s very straightforward, and they aren’t [inaudible 00:23:08] us. Like look, I have these couple of questions to decide whether or not it makes sense. I wanna be an easy buyer, I’m gonna make this really easy as a customer. That’s fantastic. That’s a much better approach.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah. All the big buyers that we’ve had of our sites have within two emails had all their questions answered, either said, yes or no.

Justin Cooke:                     But they respect your time. They’re going to respect your time, because they’re entrepreneurs themselves. They understand that time’s valuable. If they keep going back and forth, back and forth, wasting your time. They’re expecting something for nothing. That’s not great. Now, I don’t want you to be turned off when doing free work like for strategic purposes. There are people for example with us that we want to form partnerships or relationships with. We may reach out to them and offer to do something on our time, but that’s us reaching out to them. If they came to us, and were asking us to do free work, that would be a totally different situation. If you’re reaching out to someone strategically to offer them something because you wanna build the relationship, that’s completely fine. Not so fine when someone’s reaching out to you asking you to do it for free.

Joe Magnetti:                    Yeah, Justin, I get what you’re saying here. But I still, I want the listener to be careful with this, because if you’re have a very small or a new starting business where you don’t have a lot of resources or people in order to give away these freebies on a strategic level. You need to be very careful with your time and effort and energy.

Justin Cooke:                     All right, so if you like some of these six points, or you wanna argue with us about it. I’d love to hear your comments about this one. We can get into it in the comments, so do leave a comment. I love to hear any stories you have of time wasters, things that you’ve found out about working with potential customers and found out to be bullshit. Let’s kind of discuss in the comments, and we’ll help each other out.

                                                All right, buddy. Enough about that. Let’s get into our tips, tricks, and plans for the future.

Joe Magnetti:                    You’re listening to the Empire Flippers Podcast with Justin and Joe.

Justin Cooke:                     All right, so if you work with virtual systems in the Philippines. If you’re building teams. I’ve got a great book recommendation for you. This book actually comes from a buddy, Chris Duckers called “Virtual Freedom.” I finished reading the book. It’s fantastic if you’ve worked with VA’s in the Philippines. Your planning to kind of build out a team out here. It is great. It goes from you know how to hire, how to change your expectations. What expectations you should have. How to train. How to work them. Understanding some of the cultural differences. It is one of the better reads. This comes from someone, I’ve lived in the Philippines for over four years, and we have a team here of people. I thought it was fantastic. If you are working with VA’s, I would definitely pick this book up. It’s on Amazon. You can buy it for your Kindle, whatever. We’ll put a link to that in the show notes.

                                                Also, wanted to say, the first three iTunes reviews we get for this, we will mail you a free copy of the book. Just email us to let us know, and give us your address. We will send you a copy of Chris Duckers “Virtual Freedom.”

Joe Magnetti:                    Does that count for me, because I’d like a free copy.

Justin Cooke:                     No, buddy, no it doesn’t. I bought one though, actually. I’ll send it over to you.

Joe Magnetti:                    Cool.

Justin Cooke:                     Yeah, it’s really good. You should check it out. A free copy, I got the early copy. Then, just show some support for him, I went back and bought it on Amazon as well, so I could leave a review. Anyway, check it out. “Virtual Freedom’s” a really I think a worthwhile book, and worth you listening to. And you should definitely check it out. That’s it for episode 90 of the Empire Flipper’s Podcast. Thanks for being with us. Make sure to check us out next week at We’ll see you next week.

Joe Magnetti:                    Bye, bye everybody.

Speaker 1:                           Keep listening to the Empire Flippers Podcast with Justin and Joe. Be sure to hit up for more. That’s Thanks for listening.

Photo Credit: Gareth Williams via Flickr



  • Nick says:

    As always, superb episode, thanks, Justin and Joe! Agree 100% with all the episode points.

    Quite funny that I was dealing with a potential time waster, while listening to this episode. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud, when they displayed the exact same signals you mention; almost in the same order: NDAs and all. I guess the signals are always the same, as you’ve both clearly identified.

    But: is it possible that “tyre kickers” of today become real, loyal customers at some point in the future? Just curious.

    I like Joseph Hughes point: “use gut feel to qualify people out”. That should be an evergreen quote. Engraved and displayed for all to see. That one tip has saved me lots of headaches!

    • Nick, unfortunately, not in my experience. The people who put on a nice suit and go down to the BMW dealership to ask a million questions, never buy the car. The guy who comes in with cash, already know the model he wants, and wants only a slight discount is obviously the better customer. As the salesperson (the other hat your wear in a small business), your job is to find the people who fall in between and identify those who are just not going to buy.

      Sure good customers have questions, but the difference between them and tire kickers is they are ready to buy. Constant questions are used to delay the “confrontation” for the prospect telling you “I don’t have the money” or “my wife won’t let me do it”. Answer questions, but always be closing and don’t be afraid to walk away if it seems the prospect is using delay tactics.

  • Top episode, guys. These are such great reminders, because no matter how long we’ve been in business, we still get tripped up from time to time.

    I’ve found it helps to be crystal clear, as the business owner, who your ideal prospects and clients are, and then have a system for how you interact with prospects and lead them through the sales process. It’s not going to be 100% foolproof, but I think having a good process for this limits your time-wasters.

    Another heuristic I love, which I think also came from you guys, is that it’s OK to use your gut feeling, but use it to qualify someone out, not make an exception and qualify someone in.

    • Love that tip. I can’t tell you how many times my gut has said “skip this one” only to come back and haunt me later. Especially when you have experience intuition is just right more often than not.

  • Hey guys, Great job,, it was kind of funny listening to this episode. It’s so true in off-line businesses as well, In my industry there is a saying – Buyers are liars.. harsh but sometimes true…

    After a while, you can mostly tell who’s going to waste your time… but sometimes I still get surprised, where I can get a deal together that comes in left of field… I guess its the old 80/20 rule…


    • Justin Cooke says:

      Thanks, Darren!

      Yeah, I think most of these apply to both online and offline potential customers. You do get better at spotting the BS over time, but it can be difficult (it was for us) early on in your entrepreneurial career, for sure!

  • Alex CS says:

    Did you mean an iTunes review? If so, shame I already left one in the past. Books sounds interesting.

    I think I was a semi time-waster at the start. I had the cash, but only for a few investments. So I had to be picky. And when you’re doing large transactions online, you can get a little nervous. 🙂 But yes, if they don’t want to jump on Skype – big red flag to me.

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